By SCOTT JACKSON
The Quincy Police Department will step up patrols meant to catch impaired driving using grant funds received from the Highway Safety Division of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.
Quincy police will be joining local police throughout the state, as well as the Massachusetts State Police, in the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement mobilization and public information campaign.
This year’s campaign will urge drivers drinking alcohol or using marijuana and other drugs to plan ahead and designate a sober driver, use a ride-share service or take public transportation.
“Impaired drivers create a dangerous situation for everyone around them, threatening the destruction of lives and entire families,” Police Chief Paul Keenan said in a statement. “This grant will help increase our efforts during the busy summer travel season to keep our roads free of impaired drivers and avoid the tragedy they wreak.”
“Getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, using marijuana or both is one of the most dangerous things drivers can do,” said Jeff Larason, director of the Highway Safety Division. “A little planning can save your life or someone else’s. Regret or remorse won’t bring someone back.”
Marijuana or marijuana-type drugs were the most prevalent types of drugs found in people killed in crashes from 2011 to 2016 in Massachusetts, Quincy police said. Alcohol impaired driving fatalities increased 9 percent – from 109 to 119 – in the state between 2015 and 2016. Between 2011 and 2015, 82 percent of impaired drivers in fatal crashes were men and 45 percent of all alcohol-related driver fatalities were ages 21 to 34.
Nationally, about one-third of all traffic crash fatalities involve drunk drivers, police added. More than 10,000 people die each year in drunk-driving related crashes.